The day started with our best overnight moth catch of the year. 83 macros of 35 species - and many - as yet unidentified - Micros.
For me, the best was this breathtaking Gold Spot in pristine condition, photographs don't do it justice.
Silver Y - another pristine example amd a migrant too.
The hot sunshine encouraged us to visit Hickling NWT reserve - the dark clouds appeared as we drove !
This reserve seems to have a rota of officious volunteer helpers. Our permits were closely scrutinised, then questioned as there was only one (they were back to back in the case), npot having a year date, just April - our fault? I don't think so. I was not happy when I departed - most ungracious reception and typical of this reserve. A young warden stood beside her, gave us permission to drive to Whiteslea Lodge and tried to gently point her in the polite direction. She needed a bulldozer.
The rain started, not heavy but persistent, with large drops. We sat in the car listening to Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Willow Warbler, seeing the most Swallows of the year skimming the car park and reeds.
The drops lessened and we walked directly to the aptly named Bittern Hide, Pam swishing her butterfly net in the verge-side vegetation. Only catching flies and one Damselfly. The Bittern boomed as we approached the hide and did so several times during the hour we spent in the hide. We did have a flight view after half an hour. Sharp-eyed Pam spotted these caterpillars on the way in. Peacock Butterflies in waiting I believe.
We saw at least six different Marsh Harriers, none close enough to photograph, a female Black-tailed Skimmer, a Blue-tailed Damselfly and two pairs of Bearded Reedlings. Enough to keep us going but very slow under a black sky.